Sunday, February 23, 2014

The New Cuba

Anger erupted among demonstrators in Caracas, as news broke of the Interior Ministry resolution that anyone detained for disturbing the peace and the public order or participating in acts of violence would be barred from leaving the country. "We're turning into Cuba", government opponents wailed as they once again took to the streets for the daily protests that have now claimed nine lives nationwide.

Maduro's government ordered paratroopers into the border city of San Cristobal, the birthplace of the protests where protesters have been engaged in fierce battles with security forces. The internet was cut off to that region and residents said they were living in a "war zone", with the town fully occupied by the army and military helicopters and planes constantly flying overhead.

The government's vice-like grip on televised media means the protests, and the opposition, have been largely kept off Venezuelan screens.  Maduro has also expelled a Colombian broadcaster and threatened to throw out CNN, accusing it of a "propaganda war" refusing or revoking press credentials for several of its journalists.

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